With the end of this decade, is the end of an era: the first ten years of my full adult life.
For kicks, I decided to look back at my old Wordpress blog that I started back in college in 2008, named simply but appropriately My Name Is Reb. My first post was actually a pretty hateful one around Perez Hilton, and the rise of Internet bloggers who focused more on generate click bait with haterade versus writing something of journalistic or cultural integrity. Clearly I thought I was the answer, with my posts ranging from updates about my life as a college student living just outside of New York City, what music I played on my college radio station WRHU, art exhibitions I would see, bands I liked, mediations on digital media and my personal life. My style of headline writing clearly evolved once I learned more about SEO, evident by the fact the first twenty are just random lyrics lifted from my favorite songs at the time.
As 2019 ends, it's not just the end of another year, but the end of a decade. For me, the 2010's began with my college graduation and moving to NYC with no job and barely any cash to my name, and is ending now in 2019 in an entirely different place married, making my own cash money, and still living in NYC. Not only am I reflecting on the past year, but also the past ten years of my life. Fittingly, and as I hoped, I wrote a post in early 2010 titled "So this is the new year..." (lifted clearly from Death Cab for Cutie's "The New Year").
To start, I am not surprised that as a 21 year old I already felt about New Year's Eve as I do now as a 31 year old (I had to make some painstaking edits nearly ten years later):
"New Year’s Eve has become a night where one feels obligated to make it the greatest night ever. However, the more you plan and the higher your hopes grow, it never meets your expectations. It’s true [about planning the greatest night ever] – everyone has a story about how a friend’s birthday goes terribly wrong, but “OMG remember that one night where nothing was going on and so we went to the bar off of Franklin Ave and we met up with so and so and then saw Joe Schmoe on the street corner and we thought why not, then followed Sallie McCallie and ended up in that photographer’s loft where that model randomly appeared”….it was great because you [never foresaw] the night ending up that way, however you [may have] tried.
Anywho, New Years Eve is the best because it allows a do-over, retribution, forgiveness of the self. You can put this past year behind you and start forth the new year thinking this is THE year. Toss out what you don’t need, forget past blunders, remember the lesson you learned that one REGRETABLE time, and figure out what change you can put forth to make YOUR life better."
Here is some more evidence about how I really had no plan after graduation, but somehow it all worked out:
"2010 is going to be a big year for myself – the upcoming graduation and searching for my first job. Entering freshman year with the rest of the class of 2010, it meant nothing. Now the future is upon us all and it’s time to get to work. It’s scary and exciting to think about how I could be living anywhere in six months. Unemployment and facing life in a box is scary to me, so I’ll be chasing jobs more than locations (though I do have a preference for the Eastern Half of the US)."
And even further evidence about how even though ten years have gone by, I have not changed a bit in the excitement of buying a new agenda book and reading end of year lists:
"The prospect of another start to a New Year means so much! Get new music, buy a new book (an AGENDA BOOK!!!), follow me on Twitter or Tumblr (2019 me - ha ha,Tumblr), read all the “End of the Year” music reviews your friends and Pitchfork posted, read more serious “Best of 2009” and “Best of the Decade” lists that every “legitimate” news source is coming out with, rearrange your Chrismahanukwanza (2019 me - This is chilling because I married a Jew and we hosted a Christmakkuh dinner party last December) gifts, message all the friends/family you reunited with over the holidays. It’s time to start over, and keep doing whatever wonderful things you are doing."
I'm shocked and amazed to see what a wonderful optimist I was at 21, and so excited about the future. Looking back at some of my tougher years in my twenties, it amazes me that all along there was someone who was resilient and full of hope. I'm happy to say that's how I feel now thinking about the end of 2019 and starting 2020. It started rough with Eric getting laid off, but ending with both of us having new jobs we love and feeling more financially secure and happy than we ever have been.
I don't believe I wrote it down anywhere, but I do know some dreams I had back then did come true. I have a job I love that focuses on research, writing, and identifying trends, I have an apartment in Greenpoint, I'm married to a dark-haired, blue-eyed guy who is Jewish (yes, I was raised Catholic, and yes, I predicted this for myself since I was 14), I'm a published writer and I'd still call myself an artist at the end of the day.
For 2020, my plan is to really keep doing what I'm doing, but just leveling up in a big way, and I'm excited to share the projects I'm currently working on and my experience figuring it out along the way.
And because I have to uphold my promise:
Here are the agenda books I bought for 2020:
Yes, I bought TWO Passion Planners: the Dated Yearly and the Daily because over planning is my favorite, yet destructive interest.
Some end of decade wrap ups I've been reading:
The Decade Tech Lost Its Way - The New York Times
The Decade In Art - Artsy Editorial
The 2010's Have Broken Our Sense of Time - Buzzfeed
The Decade Wrapped Podcast - Spotify
Our Favorite Milestones for Women This Decade - Ellevest
And if you're panicking about the passage of time, maybe you should live like Mariah Carey:
A Brief History of Mariah Carey Refusing to Acknowledge Time - The Cut